Pricing pressure from the food & beverages industry, rising demand for complete packaging line from end users, increasing demand for modular machines, and shift in purchasing habits, are the major trends that are expected to shape the packaging automation market over the forecast period. The scope of the market covers the automation solutions for machinery that are solely used for packaging.
The trend toward less staff per line, improving labor productivity, ensuring quality, and reducing packaging and storage costs, has been driving the need for automated packaging machinery across the globe. Further, the integration of Big Data analysis, smart maintenance, and model-based engineering are providing scope for improvement. These benefits of automation in packaging, coupled with the rising demand for supply chain integration, have augmented the growth of the packaging automation market.
To remain productive and competitive, manufacturers are adopting creative and energy-efficient ways, to conserve resources, improve recycling levels, and develop new generations of materials. For example, labor rates in Chinese cities have increased dramatically over the past few years, implying that the supposed low-cost offshoring no longer makes sense, without significant investment in automation. The seamless integration of hardware and software is enabling manufacturing industries to reduce wastage, lower accident rates, and produce robust and accurate products, in an economically profitable way. These systems offer better monitoring and maintenance options, thus reducing glitches in the manufacturing process. With technologies, such as DCS, PLC, SCADA, and MES, automation equipment have become more sophisticated, and can perform more complex actions at a comparatively low operating cost. In addition, with advances in the sensor technology, these technologies have started the era of smart packaging, which results in an improvement in manufacturing processes.
Due to the high penetration of packaging machinery in the region, North America accounts for a significant market share. The formation of the ‘Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP)’ is an initiative undertaken by the United States, to make the industry, universities, and the federal government invest in emerging technologies. This initiative has helped the country gain a competitive edge in the global economy, by investing in packaging equipment used in the final line of production. The country also boasts of a strong export base of packaging machinery, which has contributed to its growth. Companies, like Bosch Packaging Services, have expanded their businesses by investing in various packaging sectors, such as confectionery, bakery, fresh food, frozen food, and pharmaceutical. The increasing pace of competition is forcing manufacturers to take steps, in order to reduce costs of their packaging processes, thus opting for automation.
Among all machinery products used in packaging, palletizers are the most preferred and beneficial for the packaging of food and beverages. Palletizing systems are used in the packaging line in industries, such as pharmaceutical, chemical, and personal care & cosmetics. Due to the simplification of multi-line palletizing with the elimination of the upstream conveyor system, robotic palletizers are gaining popularity more than conventional ones. Several loads can be built inside the robotic work envelope, which allows the arm to work on all loads at the same time, while storing partial loads in cubic form, at the floor level. The pharmaceutical sector plays a crucial role in the palletizer industry. Fully automatic palletizers are used for unattended pharmaceutical production. Due to significant investments by the companies in Europe and Asia-Pacific, the palletizers segment is expected to register healthy growth over the forecast period.
The major players in this market include: MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, ROCKWELL AUTOMATION, DE-STA-CO, SWISSLOG HOLDING AG, EMERSON INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION, ULMA PACKAGING, ATS AUTOMATION TOOLING SYSTEMS, ABB LTD, MASSMAN AUTOMATION DESIGNS, LLC, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, DENSO CORPORATION, and GERHARD SCHUBERT GMBH, amongst others.
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